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PPM Top Ten:
The Coolest Scrolling Shooters

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Things sure have changed a lot since the bygone era of Missile Command and Defender. Not too long ago, arcades were dark and dreary places with seedy ne'er-do-wells, pool tables, and rudimentary pinball machines. Pong, the first modern arcade game, moved the scene in a radically different direction. Nowawdays, living in the 90s, we're spoiled by an abundance of options and mind-blowing graphics, but back in the early and mid-80s we sunk our quarters into arcade cabs based not on visual prowess, but pure gameplay fun. Here is our Top 10 Most Addictive Old-School Arcade Games, based on the merits of notoriety, re-playability, and our own personal recollections.

top10-10 june93-10 Space Invaders by Taito

Save Earth in the original spaceship shooter.

top10-9 june93-9 Frogger by Konami

Frogs dodging traffic?! Konami was always the innovator.

top10-8 june93-8 Mappy by Namco

Guide a cute police mouse through trampoline-filled mansions.

top10-7 june93-7 Pole Position by Namco

The ground-breaking racing title, and a favorite in Japan.

top10-6 june93-6 Centipede by Atari

Fast-paced, insect-based shooter. Watch your fingers on that trackball!

top10-5 june93-5 Tempest by Atari

Blast aliens in a vector tube. Super fast and perhaps unwinnable.

top10-4 june93-4 Dragon's Lair by Cinematronics

A beautifully animated laserdisc adventure - You'll get hooked!

top10-3 june93-3 Donkey Kong by Nintendo

The game that started it all. Help Super Mario defeat the gorilla.

top10-2 june93-2 Galaga by Namco

Fun, action-packed vertical shooter, and an extremely-close second place.

top10-1    june93-1

Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man by Namco


An icon of video games and the 10-year-old mascot for Namco, Pac-Man, and his female companion Ms. Pac-Man, are without a doubt the most addicting arcade games. Everyone knows the story and how to play this one: Guide the pellet-muncher through a maze of dots, collecting fruit and dodging the four killer ghosts. It gained fame for being incredibly easy to learn but remaining difficult to master. Pac-Merchandise flooded store shelves back in '82 and it even garnered a Top-40 pop song! The Pacs are just good, old-fashioned arcade fun, and the PPM crew may have lost enough allowances on this cab to afford a year's rent at the office (yeesh!). Chances are, your local arcade may still have an old, Pac-Man unit somewhere in the back gathering dust. Tell them to drag that sucker out and relive the golden years!

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[Article from the Sept/Oct 1993 Issue of PPM]



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